The Reno Gazette Journal reports that construction of Apple’s solar powered data center is coming right along, but not without its share of controversy. The major reduction in property taxes Apple is receiving as part of the deal has some wondering if it’s all worth it.
The paper reports that earlier this Summer, Apple finished building the first phase of the data center — a 2.5 MW, 20,000 square-foot portion — and just recently completed the second phase, which has buildings for engineering support, staff and shipping. The site also now has two new six-story high water storage systems that will help cool the data center and can pump 360 million gallons of water per year, the largest privately-owned water system in the state, reports the Journal.
Apple plans to use 345 acres of the 2,200-acre Reno technology park, and will be performing construction over the next few years. Apple is also planning on a 137-acres solar panel project near the data center in Lyon County. The company will also reportedly use geothermal sources in addition to the solar power farm.
Apple is getting an 85% reduction of its property taxes for the deal, which potentially means an $89 million loss of revenue to the area over the next decade. Full time jobs at the data center are estimated to be around 35 personnel.
On the plus side, constructions jobs should hit near 500 during the building process, and local construction firms stand to make millions from the project, and they’ll be paying taxes on that. Apple’s property taxes should amount to around $1.7 million a year by year six.
Apple could also act as a magnet for other companies to come to Reno. Apple’s North Carolina data center acted to bring other data center operators to that area, and if Apple’s project attracts other companies to the area, the “lost” property tax money could be paid back many times over.